Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Productivity: How to Get Organised.

The idea of productivity is to produce.  What is the best way to schedule your day?  To get results and move your business forward takes relentless time and energy.  Anyone who has started a business, activity or project from nil to thrill will know this.

Over the summer I have been reading around the subject of time management and how to manage my working day better.  Working around my children has meant that I do tend to work into the night after they have gone to bed.  So how could I manage my time better?

I'd love to share this tutorial by motivational speaker and life coach, Brendon Burchard.  I have watched this repetitively recently to prepare myself for a very busy period coming up.  A worth while half an hour out to watch and take note.


So this Monday morning after a good healthy breakfast and a large drink of water, I went for beautiful walk with my camera to relaxedly move my mind into the thought process of productivity and how I would achieve this.  What a great start to what's going to be a very busy week.

Changing seasons.

(Photography / Laura Thomas)

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Laura Thomas Linens. An Update from a Start-up Business.

By following this blog you've probably gathered that Laura Thomas Linens is now UK based.  It has been an interesting ride moving the business from one country to another.  Moving an online business should be a simple thing.  After all your online right?  Wrong!  Being an online based business without a brick and mortar base can mean a few things.

Firstly Google.  Whenever a site goes live the Google Bots will trail that site but won't page rank it for six months.  In simple terms, the new site will not appear under any search terms that have been typed into the Google browser.  This is due to the amount of dodgy sites that come and go within this time. This period is known as 'being in the sandpit'.  Laura Thomas Linens.com was hosted in New Zealand and even though still in start-up, had over come the 'sandpit' period for Google.co.nz and had been ranked (and continually trailed) by the google robots for verification and authentication. Found under search terms 'organic linens' and 'bed linen new zealand' on page two, sales were generated through google search terms.  A great result for a company only 18 months old.

When a website is hosted in the country of origin this significantly assists with the load time of the images.  It was for this reason that I decided to move hosts for Laura Thomas Linens from New Zealand to the UK.   Before doing so loading the site from the UK was too slow.  So a new UK host was organised and it was back to the 'Sandpit' LTL and there has been a wait to be ranked for Google.co.uk.  September will see LTL rise out of the sandpit and feature officially on a google page with the relevant search terms.  It's an exciting time.

Secondly Public Relations.  A company in start-up is always hard work.  To get sales growing and to continually pushing the brand and ethos as well as promoting the products or services is a full time effort.  I like to work on a one to one basis with the media building up rapport, connecting with like minded creatives and learning what I can from them as well as working on a win win basis.  Like life, giving is very important when promoting a business.

So with give and take marketing on my mind, Laura Thomas Linens is having a major and ongoing UK PR focus.  I have been incredibly lucky recently to work with some amazing people from some fantastically inspiring blogs and companies.  Have a peek below...

Annie Kruse


Annie interviewed me for her 'People to Watch' feature.  What a stylishly lovely lady she is!  Influence your inspiration with Annie's dapper and rather classy blog here:  Stylejuicer.com

Tiffany Riley-Grant

Curate and Display

Tiffany loved the ethos behind Laura Thomas Linens and the organic, raw and non-mass produced products that I stock.  She is an amazing stylist and photographer.  Devour her incredible blog here: Curate & Display.

Holly Becker

Decor 8

If your into inspirational home and interior blogs you'll know Holly's amazing blog.  Decor 8 is a stunning site by Expat American living in Germany, Holly.  She kindly added my Laura Thomas Soy Candles to her Greatly shop - what an honour I can assure you!

Peep her style here: Decor 8

Alina Isaev 

The Fairytale Pretty Picture

Alina's blog is a visual library full of articles that will teach you something about something!  Enjoy here: The Fairytale Pretty Picture.

Jeska Hearne

Lobster and Swan

Jeska's amazing blog is one you'll get lost in as well as inspiration from.  Her recent article featured Laura Thomas Linens along side images from My Scandinavian Home and The White Company - an honour and a half!  Catch her style here: Lobster and Swan

(on right) Laura Thomas Linens, Organic Collection, Stockholm Stitch Housewife Pillowcases £20. Shop here.

(top right hand corner)  Laura Thomas Linens, Organic Collection, Stockholm Stitch Housewife Pillowcases £20 and Oxford Pillowcases £24.  Shop here.  (Last two images via Lobster and Swan)

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Bedroom Colour Code: RED

Did you know that the colour red is energising?  It excites the emotions and motivates us to take action. Not only that but it also signifies a pioneering spirit, leadership qualities as well as the promotion of ambition and determination. If your shy, red can give confidence.  To those who lack in will power it can create strength.

Red is a powerful, happy colour.  So there is no wonder that wherever we look, this warm colour can be found.  It is a great colour to splash around the bedroom.  If your like me and love white, then pops of red can make a room feel alive and vibrant.

What's more, in Eastern cultures such as China, red is the colour for good luck.  Go on, splash some good luck around your bedroom and see your luck and mood take some positive action!

(images via House & Garden UK)

Monday, 4 August 2014

Sand Sculpture, Cupcakes & Sleeping on the Street. My Week in Pictures.

The joys of village life.  The local summer sandcastle building competition as part of the Gullane Games.  First to third places with Mars Bars for all the kids.  Truly lovely!

More Laura Thomas soy candles launching soon.  Watch this space. www.laurathomaslinens.com
£14 for 6 oz and £18 for 8 oz.  Free UK delivery.

(photography / Jess Burges Exposure Photographics)

Organic sheets have been popular this week.  These are a great investment.  Organic cotton lasts longer than conventional cotton.  Using no nasty chemicals enhances the cottons life span. www.laurathomaslinens.com/sheet-collection.html

Our little girl turns 5, with a beach party of course!

Brain food.  Eating salmon fillets twice weekly has become a ritual for me.  Any super food that contributes to healthy brain function and I'm in.  It's my dietary focus at the moment.

My yoga journey deepens... with the purchase of a yoga mat.

The perfect way to advertise your show at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe.  Sleep!  Yes, we were tempted to tickle him but he conveniently woke when he heard my suggestion.  Sunday on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh.

The stunning refurb of the Edinburgh Museum blew me away.  Our first visit since being back in Scotland.  The building has been so cautiously restored, oozing with grandeur and sophistication.  A perfect Sunday afternoon while being serenaded with beautiful live classical music as part of the Fringe 2014.

(photography / Laura Thomas)

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Small Spaces Tour: Funky Scandinavian Design in 36sqm Apartment, Stockholm, Sweden.

When I stumbled up on this apartment conversion by Karin Matz Arkitekt I had to share it.  For two reasons.  Firstly, I am obsessed with small spaces and clever design.  A bit geeky I know, but I do enjoy my own small space where I am constantly looking to create more space and flow.  Secondly I really needed to record this renovation as a personal archive.  I know I will refer back to in it time for inspiration when I come to renovate my dream barn or warehouse conversion.

The apartment been empty since 1980.  The previous owner had began renovations during this time and fell ill.  The space was untouched until his death.  With wallpaper half removed, no electricity and a bathroom that only had signs of rats, it got a major overhaul.

At a tiny 36sqm the Architecture's brief was to create all that the new owner wanted.  This included generous spaces, airy sensation, walk in closet, all appliances for everyday life, a large luxury shower and bath, different possibilities of movement and space and finally it had to be light and inexpensive!

Have a look for yourself.  The results are amazing.  The wallpaper half on the walls creates that industrial look and seems to fit really well here.

(images / Karin Matz Arkitekt)

Monday, 28 July 2014

Beach, Bedding and Blueberries. My Week in Pictures.

The simple life is the best life.  Nothing is better than a roasted marshmallow.

Cutwork Classic, Hand Embroidered Collection, Laura Thomas Linens 

Loire, Hand Embroidered Collection, Laura Thomas Linens

It's been a PR focused week conversing with some very creative and inspirational bloggers. Love Curate & Display and Stylejuicer.com

2 handfuls of blueberries, 1 banana, coconut flakes, chai seeds, coconut milk and dollop of local honey.

Kids golf in the sunshine.

Saturday afternoon yoga on the beach.  It's a good life..

(photography / Laura Thomas)